The ‘cowboy that shoots faster than his own shadow’ is like several legends of the Old West all rolled into one. Morris, soaked in Westerns from an early age, squeezed the best out of that genre’s legendary heroes to create his own hero. Lucky Luke inherited Clarke Gable’s composure and class, Gary Cooper’s ‘busted’ side, as well as his broody mien and shyness with women, all that mixed with a touch of James Stewart. Yes, Lucky Luke is a cowboy, the quintessential cowboy: surrounded by an aura of mystery, fearless, exemplary and staunchly lonesome. With his loyal steed Jolly Jumper, he criss-crosses the American states from chance encounter to government mission. And wherever he goes, he is known. His unparalleled skill with a revolver has made him a legend, and his fame has travelled ahead of him all through the Old West. He’s also gifted with an incredible ability to adapt. No matter his mission, he’ll come through with flying colours. For him, escorting a shipment of gold, looking after a construction site, protecting a celebrity as they travel across a hostile West … It’s all no more difficult than putting the Daltons back in prison. Just another day on the job. His good and generous nature, his readiness to help, always, and above all his great humility have made him the people’s darling. But in spite of the affection or admiration of his fellows, he never stays long. Once his job is done, he sneaks out of the celebrations given in his honour and rides into the setting sun, onward to new adventures, claiming no rewards. In Lucky Luke, man’s best friend isn’t a dog (especially not Rin Tin Can) but his horse. Our hero views Jolly Jumper as his companion more than a mere mount. Their bond dates back to early childhood, as we’re told in volume Kid Lucky. With a longevity record under his gun belt (70 years and over 80 titles), Lucky Luke has established himself as one of contemporary bande dessinée’s legendary figures.